Alternative country outfit Drive-By Truckers will be releasing their second album of 2020 called The New OK, which will be out this Friday, October 2 via ATO Records. This album follows up from the January release of their most recent studio effort The Unraveling. The New OK’s album art, along with its title track have also been released.
“The New Ok,” is done in a more Southern rock style with jangly electric guitar chords and a sleeker vocal delivery that blurs the line between traditional country and rock. The rhythm is definitely rock inspired, replacing the honky tonk style with a more uptempo rhythm, although country flairs are present with the inclusion of organs and playful piano keys. The band’s lyrics emulate the album’s cover, showcasing the group’s signature political satire, that criticizes the current political climate, calling it a “battle for the American soul.”
The album cover is also extremely political, showing what appears to be a gravestone decorated in the colors of the LGBT flag and scrawled with the letters BLM. Considering the group’s aforementioned politics, which supports both BLM and the LGBT movements, the cover is likely an indication of what is at stakes for these groups if the political climate continues down this path.
“To be sidelined with a brand new album and have to sit idly while so much that I love and hold dear falls apart before my very eyes has been intense, heartbreaking, anger provoking and very depressing,” the band’s Patterson Hood stated in a press release. “It has gone to the very heart of our livelihoods and threatened near everything that we have spent our lives trying to build. Here’s to the hope that we can make 2021 a better year than this one has been.”
This upcoming album will include “Sea Island Lonely,” which was released earlier this year. The Unraveling also featured political themes with its singles “21st Century USA,” a critique of conservative hypocrisy, “Thoughts and Prayers,” which critiqued gun violence and “Armageddon’s Back In Town.” a rebuke of Donald Trump.
The New OK track list
1. The New Ok
2. Tough To Let Go
3. The Unraveling
4. The Perilous Night
5. Sarah’s Flame
6. Sea Island Lonely
7. The Distance
8. Watching The Orange Clouds
9. The KKK Took My Baby Away